2 Samuel 1:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.”

King James Bible
And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.

American Standard Version
And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And David said unto him: What is the matter that is come to pass? tell me. He said: The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people are fallen and dead: moreover Saul and Jonathan his son are slain.

English Revised Version
And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.

Webster's Bible Translation
And David said to him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen, and are dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.

2 Samuel 1:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

When the inhabitants of Jabesh in Gilead heard this, all the brave men of the town set out to Beth-shean, took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall, brought them to Jabesh, and burned them there. "But their bones they buried under the tamarisk at Jabesh, and fasted seven days," to mourn for the king their former deliverer (see 1 Samuel 11:1-15). These statements are given in a very condensed form in the Chronicles (1 Samuel 31:11, 1 Samuel 31:12). Not only is the fact that "they went the whole night" omitted, as being of no essential importance to the general history; but the removal of the bodies from the town-wall is also passed over, because their being fastened there had not been mentioned, and also the burning of the bodies. The reason for the last omission is not to be sought for in the fact that the author of the Chronicles regarded burning as ignominious, according to Leviticus 20:14; Leviticus 21:9, but because he did not see how to reconcile the burning of the bodies with the burial of the bones. It was not the custom in Israel to burn the corpse, but to bury it in the ground. The former was restricted to the worst criminals (see at Leviticus 20:14). Consequently the Chaldee interpreted the word "burnt" as relating to the burning of spices, a custom which we meet with afterwards as a special honour shown to certain of the kings of Judah on the occasion of their burial (2 Chronicles 16:14; 2 Chronicles 21:19; Jeremiah 34:5). But this is expressed by שׂרפה לו שׂרף, "to make a burning for him," whereas here it is stated distinctly that "they burnt them." The reason for the burning of the bodies in the case of Saul and his sons is to be sought for in the peculiarity of the circumstances; viz., partly in the fact that the bodies were mutilated by the removal of the heads, and therefore a regular burial of the dead was impossible, and partly in their anxiety lest, if the Philistines followed up their victory and came to Jabesh, they should desecrate the bodies still further. But even this was not a complete burning to ashes, but merely a burning of the skin and flesh; so that the bones still remained, and they were buried in the ground under a shady tree. Instead of "under the (well-known) tamarisk" (eshel), we have האלה תּחת (under the strong tree) in 1 Chronicles 10:11. David afterwards had them fetched away and buried in Saul's family grave at Zela, in the land of Benjamin (2 Samuel 21:11.). The seven days' fast kept by the Jabeshites was a sign of public and general mourning on the part of the inhabitants of that town at the death of the king, who had once rescued them from the most abominable slavery.

In this ignominious fate of Saul there was manifested the righteous judgment of God in consequence of the hardening of his heart. But the love which the citizens of Jabesh displayed in their treatment of the corpses of Saul and his sons, had reference not to the king as rejected by God, but to the king as anointed with the Spirit of Jehovah, and was a practical condemnation, not of the divine judgment which had fallen upon Saul, but of the cruelty of the enemies of Israel and its anointed. For although Saul had waged war almost incessantly against the Philistines, it is not known that in any one of his victories he had ever been guilty of such cruelties towards the conquered and slaughtered foe as could justify this barbarous revenge on the part of the uncircumcised upon his lifeless corpse.

2 Samuel 1:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

How went [heb] What was, etc.

1 Samuel 4:16 And the man said to Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son?

the people

1 Samuel 31:1-6 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa...

1 Chronicles 10:1-6 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa...

Cross References
1 Samuel 4:16
And the man said to Eli, "I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today." And he said, "How did it go, my son?"

2 Samuel 1:3
David said to him, "Where do you come from?" And he said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel."

2 Samuel 1:5
Then David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?"

2 Samuel 4:10
when one told me, 'Behold, Saul is dead,' and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news.

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